Net Zero Strategic Advisory Group led by standards body BSI announces Climate Change Committee CEO Chris Stark and former MP Laura Sandys among founding members

Climate Change Committee CEO Chris Stark, former Conservative MP Laura Sandys, and a clutch of experts from across the energy and business community have been confirmed as founding members of a new net zero standards advisory body convened by the British Standards Institute (BSI).

The Net Zero Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) has been established to help ensure that standards help to accelerate the transition to net zero enissions in the UK, while also driving positive change across the international standards community to ensure standards are compliant with net zero goals, the BSI said.

Announced on Friday, the group will be tasked with articulating industry requirements and policy ambitions, as well as providing guidance to BSI to ensure it standards and wider work helps to support the net zero transition, the standards body said.

Sebastiaan Van Dort, BSI’s associate director for energy and sustainability standards, said that, in the wake of the COP26 Climate Summit, it was now time to turn climate commitments into action. He argued that standards had a critical role to play in helping organisations develop credible net zero strategies and accelerating efforts to curb emissions.

“Over the last twelve months the journey to net zero has gathered pace,” he said. “COP26 served as a major watershed moment for nations, governments and businesses – if we want to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5C, then now is the moment to turn our climate change commitments into climate change actions. The international standards community has a critical role to empower standards users to accelerate their transition. The Net Zero Strategic Advisory Group will oversee our delivery of this.”

Sandys, who is also a non-executive director of gas network firm SGN, has been appointed chair of SAG, with its membership of the group drawn from government, academic, research bodies, and industry, while representing a range of sectors and disciplines, BSI said.

In addition to Stark, SAG’s founding members for 2022 include Seahorse Environment senior advisor Benet Northcote; Gillian Cooper, head of energy policy at Citizens Advice; Innovate UK and UKRI’s head of clean growth strategy and impact, Sarah Tennison; Mott Macdonald’s group head of strategy Simon Harrison; and Business in the Community climate action director Gudrun Cartwright.

Sandys described standards as the “crucial but forgotten component of change required for reaching net zero”.

“The work that BSI are doing nationally and as importantly internationally will be one of the most important drivers of embedding change across the economy,” she said. “I am very privileged to be chairing such a group of experts to support BSI deliver on its important role in driving net zero economy wide.”   

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